During the Restoration, Charles II traded jibes with his courtiers. None was bolder than the Earl of Rochester who recited this poem in the monarch’s presence:
Charles wittily replied that the last two lines were very true: his words were his own, but his actions were those of his ministers.
Could Donald Trump turn out to be the reverse of Charles II? Many of his tweets have hardly been wise, but his appointments to the Cabinet have been largely good ones for classical liberalism and in any event almost universally men and women of substance. Just read this lovely essay written by a Democrat about Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, and his service as a juror. You will have the measure of a man who has the measure of the world.
And these appointments have enormous importance for government because the President, like Charles II, must govern largely through his cabinet secretaries and agency heads rather than by Twitter.